Wallis was born in Pennsylvania in 1896. She moved to London with her husband Ernest Aldrich Simpson in 1931.

Her friendship was formed with Lady Thelma Furness (mistress of Prince of Wales) 

Over the course of 1931, the Simpsons were gradually absorbed into Edward’s social life, spending frequent weekends with him at Fort Belvedere, his 18th-century home in the grounds of Windsor Great Park. 

The pivotal moment in their friendship was January 1934 when Thelma set sail for the United States. According to Wallis, Thelma said laughingly, ‘I’m afraid the Prince is going to be lonely. Wallis, won’t you look after him?’  

He began to get closer to Wallis and gave him gifts, including jewellery and money for clothes and other luxury items. 

At Edward’s insistence, Wallis, wearing a tiara borrowed from Cartier, was formally presented to his parents, King George V and Queen Mary. Although few words were exchanged during the meeting, it was not successful.

Outraged to have to receive ‘that woman in my own house’, the King gave orders that Mrs Simpson was not to be invited to any of the Silver Jubilee functions being planned for the following year, nor to the Royal Enclosure at Ascot.

As news of the affair spread, the Duchess of York — later Elizabeth, the Queen Mother — declared openly that she would no longer meet Mrs Simpson and would beat a hasty retreat whenever ‘that woman’ walked into the same party.

In 1936 Edward ascended the throne after the death of his father George V. He made clear his intentions to marry Wallis as soon as her second divorce came through.

The scandal caused widespread outrage and the Church of England ruled that he could not marry someone who had two deceased husbands.

Wallis moved to France as an exile, to escape the pressure. Edward abdicated December 1936 to allow them to marry and took the lower title of Duke.

The King abdicated, signing off his brief reign with a broadcast that referred to ‘the woman I love’. 

Simpson was subject to hatemail and abuse and was even accused of sympathizing with the Nazis. 

Edward and she went to Germany with Hitler in 1937. Edward wanted her to have the experience of royal tours, something Wallis was unable to afford. 

Edward became governor of The Bahamas from 1940 to 1945. The couple continued their life together, enjoying high society.

She never forgot her love for Ernest Simpson. Her second husband, and the man she adored, and many of her closest friends have said she would never divorce him. 

She kept on writing to him, and the intimate letters that have been revealed in recent years reveal how Wallis felt about her past. 

Wallis, who died with the Duke of Edinburgh in 1972, became a recluse. Before her death at the age 89 in 1986, she was seldom seen in public.